Small and medium-sized businesses have long been placed in a category of organizations that minimize their IT investments because of cost and management limitations. The consumerization of IT movement has combined with cloud computing to change this landscape. With advanced applications and services becoming more accessible all the time, many SMBs are beginning to engage in IT projects in new and surprising ways. This creates a situation in which advanced IT help desk capabilities become a critical consideration for such organizations.
According to a recent ZDNet report, the results of a recent GFI Software study point to a problematic result of increased technology use in the SMB sector - risk. Potential for data breaches and similar problems is increasing as small companies take on new technological strategies.
A help desk or robust service desk can go a long way toward helping IT managers or small business owners understand the risk inherent in an organization and develop plans to counter those issues.
Looking at how SMB Technology Strategies Create Risk
The study found consumer technologies are commonly used and personal activities are frequently performed within the small business sector. As such, IT teams face many challenges in ensuring policy compliance and security best practices, ZDNet reported.
Approximately 38 percent of those polled said they they will sometimes use company-owned technology for personal purposes. That significant group is accompanied by one-third of respondents who said they will use company technology for personal tasks, but only rarely, to create a situation in which a significant majority of employees at small businesses will leverage corporate systems for their own ends. At the same time, while just 53 percent of survey participants work at companies with formal policies governing IT resource use, approximately 22 percent of those individuals admitted to violating those policies.
As if these figures did not point enough to technology risk in the SMB sector, the study also found that 87 percent of workers polled are afraid that they are at risk of identity theft when using company-owned computer systems and 43 percent of respondents have connected to the work network remotely using a mobile device.
ZDNet explained that all of this data clearly points to considerable risk for data loss and similar security problems in the SMB sector. Two factors are central to this situation - easy access to the internet and widespread mobile device use. As small businesses fail to adequately monitor and protect users on smartphones and tablets they not only create privacy risks for individuals, but for the company. As such, efforts must be made to adequately protect data and other assets when managing technology use in the small business sector.
Using the Service Desk to Alleviate Security Concerns
One of the greatest security challenges facing businesses depending on employee-owned mobile devices is ensuring applications are delivered effectively while keeping data safe. Accomplishing this depends on understanding how data moves through different networks and where it will be vulnerable. Once this knowledge is developed, specialized services can be used to safeguard information and keep everybody safe.
However, bridging the gaps between cloud, mobile, social and traditional technologies can prove incredibly difficult, especially in SMB settings where IT teams often have severely limited resources at their disposal. As such, dealing with incident and problem management becomes a major challenge because the device diversity increases the frequency of issues and potential risk. Having an effective service desk or even a help desk system in place can enable SMBs to establish the functionality they need to effectively resolve issues that could put employee privacy and corporate data at risk.